Posts Tagged ‘Al qaeda’

This intervention force is “…composed almost entirely of fighting men drawn from the ranks of al Qaeda and its extremist Islamist affiliates and allies… silently backed by the US and NATO members… the hard core is made up of Iraqi Islamists which carried out 15 coordinated bomb attacks in Baghdad last Thursday, killing 72 people and injuring 200″

Why would al Qaeda and other terrorists be better than Assad in running Syria?

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 27, 2011

Libyan ex-al Qaeda's Abdel Hakim BelhajThe Qatar oil emirate, encouraged by its successful participation in the campaign to overthrow Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi, has established a Sunni Arab intervention force to expedite the drive for Syrian President Bashar Assad’s ouster, debkafile’s military sources report.

The new highly mobile force boosts the anti-Assad Free Syrian Army, whose numbers have jumped to 20,000 fighters, armed and funded by Qatar and now forming into military battalions and brigades at their bases in Turkey.

When they saw the Syrian massacre continuing unabated this month, the Qatari and Saudi rulers approved a crash program for the Qatari chief of staff Maj.-Gen Hamas Ali al-Attiya to weld this mobile intervention Sunni Muslim force out of al Qaeda linked-operatives for rapid deployment on the Turkish-Syrian border.

A force of 2,500 has been recruited up until now, our sources report. The hard core is made up of 1,000 members of the Islamic Fighting Group in Libya-IFGL, which fought Qaddafi, and 1,000 operatives of the Ansar al-Sunna, the Iraqi Islamists which carried out 15 coordinated bomb attacks in Baghdad last Thursday killing 72 people and injuring 200.

Qatar has just had them airlifted from Libya and Iraq to the southern Turkish town of Antakya (Antioch) in the border province of Hatay.

It is in this town of quarter-of-a- million inhabitants that the new Sunni force has located its command center and separate camps for the two main contingents to undergo intensive training for combat missions in the embattled Syrian towns and provinces of Idlib, Homs, Jabal al-Zawiya, scenes of the fiercest clashes between Syrian troops and rebels.

debkafile also reveals that the man appointed top commander of the Sunni intervention force headquartered in Antioch is none other than Abdel Hakim Belhaj, whose militia last August seized control of Tripoli after it was captured from Qaddafi by NATO and Qatari forces.

He has picked his deputies – Al-Mahdi Hatari, former head of the Tripoli Brigade and loyal crony Kikli Adem.
Qatari officers have set up communication links between the Libyan and Iraqi camps and since last week are coordinating their operations with the Free Syrian Army.

This flurry of military activity is taking place under the watchful gaze of the Turkish military and its intelligence services but they are not interfering.

debkafile’s military and counter-terror analysts stress that the rise of a new Qatari-led Sunni Muslim rapid intervention force breaks fresh strategic ground with ramifications for the United and Israel as well as for the Gulf Arab countries, Syria, Libya and Iraq.

1. A year has gone by since the Arab Revolt first broke out in December 2010. Yet this is the first time a Sunni Muslim power has established an intervention force – one moreover which is composed almost entirely of fighting men drawn from the ranks of al Qaeda and its extremist Islamist affiliates and allies.

2. The new Sunni force, funded by the Persian Gulf oil states, is silently backed by the US and NATO members, with Turkey in the forefront of this support group. This means that the Sunni-Shiite divide is spiraling into overt conflict with Western support afforded to one side.

3. Despite finding itself increasingly isolated by its Arab neighbors, Tehran has so far not intervened directly in conflicts in which it owns an interest – such as Gulf Cooperation Council-GCC intervention against a Shiite-led uprising in Bahrain, and now Sunni militias and terrorists enlisted to battle the Allawite regime of Iran’s closest ally, Bashar Assad in Damascus.

4. Iran’s Lebanese proxy. Hizballah’s Hassan Nasrallah, must also be feeling an uncomfortable draft coming from a Sunni fighting force near his strongholds and carrying out raids against his closest ally, Bashar Assad. He can’t ignore the possibility of that force conducting similar excursions against his own Shiite militia.

5. Israel too must find cause for concern in the rise of a Sunni military intervention force capable of moving at high speed from one arena to another and made up almost entirely of Islamist terrorists. At some time, Qatar might decide to move this force to the Gaza Strip to fight Israel.

These are serious threats, but I wonder if they aren’t elaborate smoke-screens hiding more sinister threats coming into the US another way. Two articles about the “package” bombs:

More bomb-parcels sought in probe of Al Qaeda air cargo plot
DEBKAfile Special Report October 30, 2010

As the multiple investigation got underway, British Home Secretary Theresa May and Dubai police speculated Saturday that the two rigged parcels could have exploded on aircraft before they reached their Chicago addresses.

A broadening multinational investigation seeks to probe the scale of the al Qaeda air freight plot causing mayhem in the international cargo freight system on the assumption that the threat is still viable. Yemen, to which two explosive parcels bound for Chicago synagogues were traced, itself seized more than 30 suspect parcels before they were loaded on outward flights.

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said Saturday, Oct. 30, that a woman suspected of sending the explosive parcels had been arrested in Sanaa on the basis of US and intelligence.

Debkafile’s counter-terror sources say Yemeni claims of success should be taken with a pinch of salt. Saleh is eager to show results in his probe as he is under pressure from Washington to show fast results and he has high hopes for financial rewards. Above all, his army is fighting a losing war against Al Qaeda’s inroads in Yemen and therefore unlikely to be able to contest the terrorist infrastructure which set up the package plot.

Were it not for a tipoff from Saudi intelligence identifying the UPS and Fedex bomb parcels directed from Yemen to Chicago on separate cargo planes, they would not have been discovered before they blew up. Even so, debkafile’s counter-terror sources report, al Qaeda chalked up a coup by successfully penetrating and paralyzing the main intercontinental air mail systems.

The packages taken off planes at the British East Midlands airport and Dubai Friday, Oct. 29, and rendered harmless were affixed to separate detonators- a cell phone SIM card SIM card and a trigger.

President Barack Obama reported a credible terror threat to the United States Friday night and pointed to Al Qaeda in Yemen (AQAP). He said two Chicago synagogues were targeted, but did not specify to which of the 140 Jewish places of worship in the Chicago area the packages were addressed. The city is the president’s political base. His outgoing chief of staff mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel and his wife attend Anshe Shalom.

The United States, European and Middle East airports went on high terror alert after Washington was informed of a bomb threat to the US by means of air cargoes Thursday night. All the same, local airport security authorities in the US, Britain, Germany, France and Dubai were not aware of the threat and let the packages go through to their destinations. Suspicion was first aroused at the East Midlands airport by a photocopier ink cartridge with wires and white powder. Our sources report it contained PETN (pentaerythritol trinitrate) explosive material disguised by a chemical coating.

This was the same substance used by the “Underpants” bomber Farouk Abdulmuttalab when he failed to blow up a Delta passenger flight last Christmas and “Shoe Bomber” Richard Reid nine years ago. After that, cargo planes with freights originating in Yemen were kept back on arrival at Philadelphia and Newark, NJ international airports for thorough screening.

Intensified security measures at all US airports for passengers as well as freight and the public advised to be extra vigilant. Friday, as confusion mounted over the nature of “attack”, dozens of alarms were phoned in during the day from different parts of America. They included sightings of two UPS pick-trucks in Queens and Brooklyn, an unaccompanied bag on a street bench which caused part of San Francisco’s financial district to be temporarily evacuated and a knapsack outside a courthouse in Portland, Maine.

Linda Haase, the associate vice president of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, said Friday that synagogues in the area had been on alert since being informed of a potential threat. She referred to threats to synagogues and the White House and mentioned “black powder.” The reference to the White House as later dropped from the report.

Obama’s statement stressed that the terror threat was still in force and US security and intelligence services were on guard to protect US citizens, friends and allies. The Transport Security Agency was ordered to intensify security checks at all American airports.

Saturday, the US media disclosed that Saudi intelligence had been the source of the tipoff to Washington about dangerous air freight on its way to the United States providing the consignment numbers of the bomb packages.

In the UK, following discovery of the rigged ink cartridge, a new counter-terror center was established with labs for testing suspect articles. Prime Minister David Cameron called the COBRA committee into session to look at the lapses of the British air security system. The suspect package was noted and cleared at East Midlands and sent on its way. It is chaired by the Home Secretary Theresa May as Cameron has a date with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. They too are no doubt discussing the ramifications of al Qaeda’s air cargo plot

Even after the ink-bomb raised suspicion at East Midlands, major questions remain to be answered:

1. Without the Saudi tipoff, the bomb-parcels would have remained undetected and reached their targets. Meanwhile, Al Qaeda has succeeded in breaching the intercontinental air freight system, one of the wheels which makes Western economies go round and can claim a tactical success.

2. Although PETN had been used by failed al Qaeda’s bombers on international flights in the past, several airport security agencies at ports on the routes of the cargo flights failed to detect the presence of this explosive substance.

3. While only two packages have been identified as dangerous, there may be more still be found in meticulous sweeps of many tons of freight – or even delivered. Their presence refutes the first theory widely held by terror experts that the plot was a dry run to probe for weak points in the intercontinental air freight system.

4. The imposition of heightened security for air cargo comparable to that applied to passenger traffic would throw the mail industry into chaos, causing extreme financial losses and disrupting an important branch of the Western economy. That too would be accounted by al Qaeda a major success – at very little cost to itself.


Yemen accuses woman of sending mail bombs
Device could have downed plane, U.K. minister says

Saturday, October 30, 2010
CBC News (Canada)

A woman has been arrested in the Yemeni capital on suspicion that she was involved in sending two explosive devices found on cargo planes bound for the United States, the president of Yemen said Saturday.

Security officials went to a house in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, to arrest the woman a day after the plan was thwarted on Friday, President Ali Abdullah Saleh said.

He told reporters the United States and the United Arab Emirates provided him with information that identified the woman as a suspect.

Yemeni security officials said the woman was detained as authorities search for a number of suspects believed to have used forged documents and ID cards that played a role in the plot.